How To Side Hustle And Start Your Own Business
Nick Loper’s biggest pet peeve is seeing people live unhappy lives when they have complete control over their futures.
He is a TEDx speaker and Chief Side Hustler at Side Hustle Nation, which is a growing community and resource for aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs.
Named the best entrepreneurship blog in 2016, the site covers online business, freelancing, E-commerce and dozens of other ways to make money outside of a traditional job.
Nick hates the word “deserve”, and he went on cold showers for 500 days in a row.
In this episode, you’re going to discover practical tips to side hustle your way into your own business.
Here’s just what one of Nick’s clients say about him:
Nick has also been featured in these media outlets:
In this episode you’ll discover:[01:24] Why Nick took cold showers for 500 days in a row [05:02] The most common misconception about side hustling [06:00] Fastest way to get side hustlers get off the ground [07:49] How to find your 1st customer [13:00] How Nick got to where he is right now [18:43] How nick grew his podcast from 1k to 6k in 6 months [20:52] Where Nick gets his income from [26:26] Problems people face when trying to quit their job and start their own business [27:50] How to overcome these problems [35:43] How to approach a stranger (cold person) for a partnership idea [38:55] #1 advice to people who want to quit their job and build a full time business
“It’s difficult to get the traction needed, but if you manage to get past the initial barriers, it’s very worth it.”
~ Nick Loper
Interviewer (Welly Mulia): Welcome to another episode of The BirdSend Academy podcast. This is the show for online course creators who want to build a profitable business by sharing your skills and knowledge. This is your host Welly Mulia, if you are not listening to this on our website, go to academy.birdsend.co/6 to get your show notes. This show is brought to you by BirdSend Email and Marketing Tool; the only email and marketing tool specifically created for online course creators. Get your free forever account at birdsend.co.
Today’s special guest is Nick Loper, Nick is a TEDx speaker and Chief Side-Hustler at sidehustlernation.com, which is a growing community and resource for aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs. Named the best entrepreneurship blog in 2016, the site covers online business, freelancing, E-commerce and dozens of other ways to make money outside of a traditional job. Nick hates the word deserve, and he went on cold showers for 500 days in a row. So, without further ado, let’s welcome Nick to the show.
Nick, it’s great to have you here.
Interviewee (Nick Loper): Thanks for having me.
Welly Mulia: Cool. So, you once took cold showers for 500 days in a row, what’s that about?
Nick Loper: No, I recommend it. It was a pretty cool experience, it started with a recording on the Side Hustle show, where the guest was like, oh, you got to try this cold shower thing, and he started it as kind of a fat loss thing, like okay, because I guess there are some thermodynamics airplay, the reason, Michael felt he could eat like 6,000 calories a day, it’s like you are spending some energy swimming in this case, but you are also spending energy keeping your body warm, you are expending calories doing that, so he started doing the cold shower thing as a way to boost his metabolism in a way, and he was like, come on, give it a shot for 30 days, you don’t have anything to lose. I was like, that sounds awful but when I did it, I started to get more coaching clients, I started to get… things started to fall into place in a weird way, it could have been totally pussy though, but you know what, I am going to keep doing this, because I feel better, and I will keep at it, I think that lasted about a year and a half. And nowadays, I kind of end cold, but in the winter that’s a little bit tough, but as we warm up, I’ll get back into it.
Welly Mulia: Okay, cool. So, you mentioned that taking this cold showers more than a year in a row is helping you in your business. Why do you think that is psychologically, or maybe mentally and physically as well?
Nick Loper: Yeah, the psychological part of it is like, okay, here is something that is uncomfortable, here is something that is challenging but it is not life threatening, you are going to get through it and you yell and little bit, but you are going to feel great when it’s over, and I think that applies to a lot of stuff we work on a day-to-day basis, it’s not always going to be easy, but if you are going to do the work, do the reps, you are going to come out of it and feel better for it.
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Welly Mulia: Okay, cool. Physically, does it do anything to your body?
Nick Loper: Well, it supposedly it has fat loss benefits, I don’t have a ton of weight to lose, so I don’t know if that was a thing, but you feel good when it’s over, and you feel good, I guess in the moment too, because it is like, I am doing this thing that’s hard… I don’t know. Have you ever done it?
Welly Mulia: I just started doing it like the beginning of the month, so it’s like only 10 plus days, but for myself…
Nick Loper: That’s a pretty good streak.
Welly Mulia: Yeah, I mean for myself it’s pretty good, like you said just now, it feels pretty good, like you are feeling awesome, like this is cool and you are doing something that is uncomfortable… So, it’s been 10 plus days now, but it’s so far so good…
Nick Loper: It will wake you up for sure.
Welly Mulia: Yeah. So, Nick, the reason I brought you for this episode is because I know that you are big into side hustling and I know you also used to do that, you side hustled your way into a full time business of your own. So, for people listening to this, and I know that there are a lot of people who are trying to get out of job and then starting their own business full-time, so what do you think that is the one misconception about side hustling?
Nick Loper: That it’s easy, that everybody should do it, it’s a challenge, it’s not like the cold shower thing, it’s hard to get the traction needed to make a meaningful dent in the quality of your life, it’s worth it, for me, or it was worth it for me and it’s worth it for a lot of other people, because it is really empowering, once you see that income coming in, but it’s usually slower than people would like, and usually harder than people would like and has that been your experience?
Welly Mulia: Yeah, that has been my experience as well as other people’s experience, I talked to like people who are running business and they previously had a corporate job. Yeah, definitely.
Nick Loper: The pay check is so steady, you clock in, you clock out, you do your thing… probably one of the fastest side hustle started off the ground is similar and that would be just freelancing or consulting, saying here is some skills that I have, and trying to find out people who have some problems that you can solve with those skills, and that can be in person, that could be locally, like a recent guest on the show that was doing a knife sharpening business, we have had people doing cleaning business and I just got off the phone with one of the founder of 1-800 Gut Junk, where they will come, bring a big truck to your driveway and take away all the craps that you don’t want, so it could be a service business like that, which is relatively affordable and quick to start because you don’t need to create a product, you don’t need an audience, you just need to go town and try to find customers and then the next tier, or one common tier after that is like the product-based business, it could be physical products, it could be digital products, but that usually has an inventory cost or a time creation cost on a digital product side. And then, the third common business model that I deal with a lot is an audience business, so this would be a blog, a podcast, I am going to create a content for YouTube and overtime I am going to build up this following and then I have ad income, and sponsorships, and affiliate income and also the flexibility to sell products and services if I want to from there too. So, those are kind of the 3 primary business models that we tend to cover on the Side Hustle show.
Welly Mulia: Okay. So, with these 3 methods of generating income, the one you recommend just now is to deliver a service, because that’s easy as you don’t have to create a product. How do you go about finding the audience because when you want to sell a service, you also need to have a targeted audience?
Nick Loper: Sure. For me, one of the first businesses that I started, first kind of real business that did any sort of volume was residential painting business, and so the way I found customers was going door to door, you can think of marketing as the challenge of getting in front of your customers in their natural habitat or in terms of the people that they are already doing business with, so for example, a friend of mine does SEO services, and so he has set up strategic partnerships with graphic design services, and some other, maybe accounting offices or something like that, like okay, these types of small business customers are already hiring these other services, but those companies don’t specialize in SEO so they can send referral business his way. Another way for a service business that I thought was pretty cool was a guest on a podcast; Joshua, it was kind of like an offline webinar model where he was doing web and web development and kind of like copywriting, for local businesses too, so he called up the local accounting office where his target customers were already doing business and said, hey, tell you what, I would like to host this 1-hour free workshop during lunch hour in your conference room, you provide the conference room, I’ll provide the sandwiches, I want to come in and talk about the 7 deadly sins of web design, or the 7 common mistakes you are probably making with your website. You invite the customer base, Mr. Accountant, and I’ll come and deliver this presentation, no pitch, no nothing, totally free… And even before he pulls up his PowerPoint, like he is positioned as the expert in the minds of everybody who is attending there, it makes the accountant look good, because he is providing them extra value for free, outside of his normal accounting services and it makes Joshua look like a rock star and by the end of the presentation, no pitch during the presentation, everybody is coming up, giving them their business cards, saying, we need to schedule a meeting, like this is great stuff.
Welly Mulia: Just like you said, when you first got started, you were doing the residential services. Can you talk to us more about that?
Nick Loper: Yeah, this is my college business; painting houses in the summer. So, I would go out in the evenings, kind of during spring semester, knock on doors, and try and drum up leads and then go back out on the weekends to do estimates and book those jobs for June, July, August… that was actually underneath one of the college painting franchise operations called college works painting in the States and that was like my first taste of working for profits and not wages, and it was crazy stressful, like a bunch of 19 years old with paint sprayers, as you might imagine, anything that can go wrong does go wrong, and it’s on you to clean it up, so it’s kind of successful, but it is also really rewarding to be able to stand back from the side walk by the end of the week and see the transformation that you made on these houses and then look back at the end of the summer and say we did that 20 times, 25 times.
Welly Mulia: So, where did you transition after that business? Did you go into some kind of other business?
Nick Loper: The next business was a footwear comparison shopping site, and that was kind of the original side hustle of mine after graduation and I kind of started in a similar way, through an internship here in college with this… It was shoe store in Seattle that back in the day had the wild and crazy idea to start putting their inventory online and see if anybody would buy it, and by the time I came on board, the online side of their business had grown tremendously compared to the brick and motor shop, and so that was my first exposure to affiliate marketing, to Google ad words, to SEO, to e-commerce really, and that was really helpful in giving me the idea for the comparison shopping site for shoes, because it is like, I don’t want to do that traffic to one product, if they don’t have the best deal, so I was like, okay, let’s build the database out and sort that by price, bringing everybody’s catalogue and see where you can get this. And as it turned out, a lot of times, people click on different links, trying to find the exact size they were looking for.
Welly Mulia: So Nick what was life back then before you became successful like you are now? I know you have talked a little bit about your background with the painting experience, and the shoe experience just now. But can you talk to us through about how you got to where you are right now?
Nick Loper: A lot of work and a lot of patience, specifically with Side Hustle Nation brand, you know, I was looking at these numbers with my wife, and I was like, why did I keep this going? Nobody was tuning in at the beginning, but there was just enough traction to make it interesting, the content was really interesting to produce and as you know, hosting a podcast is used to talk to people that you want to, but sometimes charge $1,000 an hour for their consulting, like hey, you want to come on my podcast, they are essentially coaching you for free, so I have learned a lot from my guest in that stand point. But that’s what it was, it was just kind of persistence in trying to build this thing up and it has been a ton of fun, like this is one of the longest projects that I have worked on and continued to do it because it’s still fun, it’s still interesting. There are way more projects that I want to tackle that I know I am never going to have time to do… on one hand that’s frustrating, but I think that’s a good sign, because you know that’s where your creative juices are really firing.
Welly Mulia: When did you start Side Hustle Nation?
Nick Loper: In early 2013. Coming up on 6 years.
Welly Mulia: So, in the beginning days, you said that your podcast was basically little to no one listening? So, how did you get the motivation to keep going, because I know, just like you said, you are talking to your wife and maybe she is also saying, hey, nobody is listening, why do you keep spending time doing this? How did you… I know persistence but what else? There must be something else that keeps you going because when you don’t see any listeners or maybe numbers, nobody is visiting your site, then someone can get down easily. And I think that’s what’s happening to a lot of people in the beginning stages of their career or business. So, what are your tips on getting through, past that first barrier, because that is the hardest thing to do, to move a train. Once you get it going, it gathers momentum and traction.
Nick Loper: It’s so true, and I am going to see if I can pull up the download statistics just to show you what I am talking about, like how it was, but at that time, it was going in the right direction, even though the numbers weren’t huge, they were like trending up, which I thought was a good sign and I was getting some engagements, some feedback from listeners. I was at a podcast movement a few years ago and the speaker up on the stage was Cliff Ravenscraft from Podcast Answer Man, and he said some of the common questions that he gets was framed around like… I only get 200 listeners an episode, what am I doing wrong? I only get 200 listeners an episode, how can I grow that? And his advice was, first of all, stop saying only, because 200 people is… if you were up on stage in front of 200 people, you might get nervous, that’s a lot of people to be talking to. And at the time there was only maybe 200 people in the room, and it was a pretty crowded conference, ball room type of setup, so his advice was to try and get engagement in any way you can, you probably have a chance to know these people on a first name basis, through comments on the website, through connections on social media, so trying to do that, figuring out what they want, trying to turn them into advocates for you. I recently talked to Jack from the Survivor podcast, huge podcast, started 10 years ago, driving down the freeway in his car, what he did earlier on was to try and turn his initial listeners into advocates for him and say, hey I am going to give away… he said it was an i-pod back in the day, if you can help me spread the word. So, that was what people ended up doing, they were posting it on forums, instead of posting it on websites and helped him kind of amplify his reach through the people that he already had and I think that’s most content grows especially podcast content because it’s not as easily searchable, it’s like how do you tap into that odd amount? And I think it is by creating something that is compelling, that is worthy of sharing.
Welly Mulia: When you first started Side Hustle Nation, was podcast already a part of it or did you eventually start blogging and then podcast came later on?
Nick Loper: Yeah, I started the blog and the podcast at the same time, the thing was the blog kind of redirected from an old personal blog of mine, so that wasn’t starting completely from scratch, it was just under a new brand and a renewed focus, and over the years deleted most of that old content just because it was not relevant to the stuff that I was talking about, that was random rants about events, and pictures from our vacation, just a total personal blog.
Welly Mulia: Okay, did you manage to build your audience like build an email list of people who are reading your blog back very early in the days?
Nick Loper: The email list was kind of slow to grow, and for me, the inflection point was about 14 months into the show, 60 something episodes into the show, and realizing it’s never going to be huge money maker in terms of sponsorships, that seems to be how… Okay, I am going to build this podcast, I am going to make money from ads, like that’s the business model that most people consider. It took me a long time to realize that the show was content marketing, I still don’t have a really great offer for people, but a lot of people would build a podcast to sell their service, to sell their course or something like that, I still don’t really have that, but it was a shift in recognizing that the show was content marketing, and treating it as such, that was really an inflection point for the show and for the site in general. So, 14 months in, I probably had around 1,000 people on the email list, it was not huge, and at that point started creating these episode specific lead magnets that people could download, basically summaries of the episodes, hey, you are out driving, you are walking the dog, you are at the gym, my guest is dropping hopefully some important nuggets and action items and tips, you don’t have a place to take notes, don’t worry we did it for you, you can download all that stuff for free at sidehustlenation.com/… And within 3 months of doing that, I had 3,000 on the list, within 6 months I had 6,000, so it was a huge turning point in starting to do that, in terms of taking an anonymous listener to now somebody that I can reach out to again and again through email.
Welly Mulia: Okay, cool. So, what are your income streams right now? Where do they come from? Like you have the blog, the content, podcast, sponsorships, and what are the methods that you make money from all of them?
Nick Loper: Okay, now we will get into that in just a second. Now, I did finally pull up the statistics…
Welly Mulia: Sure, tell us about it.
Nick Loper: So, one year into the show; May 2014, it was around 9,000 downloads for the entire month and it just compounds after that, because a year after that, close to 70,000 so it was a huge growth in that second year, and maybe it hit kind of that tipping point, so 70,000 in 2015, and 2016, it was 107,000, in 2017, in May, it was 195,000. So, it just kind of continues to compound and if you can get through that first year, or 18 months where nobody is tuning in or relatively few people are tuning in and then you start to see the compound effect, and people have the same thing on YouTube where it might take 6 months, a year to get the first thousand subscribers, then it just might take another 6 months to get to 10,000 and then another 6 months to get to 20,000, and then it really, really compounds. Sort of the income streams for me, sponsorship on the podcast, 5 years later has turned into a pretty decent income stream, affiliate offers on the site and occasionally through the email list, and then the third one, that is my own side hustle, experiments and investments and projects, I don’t have the shoe site anymore, but I still have a couple other affiliate sites, this category might include self-publishing, and online courses and playing around on Fiverr and alternative investment strategies, trying to build some cash flow that way.
Welly Mulia: What is the biggest source of income for you from all of these models?
Nick Loper: Affiliate marketing.
Welly Mulia: Okay, cool. Interesting you said just now May 2014, you had about 1,000 downloads and a year later it becomes 70,000? That is a huge growth, what do you think is the factor for that and what did you do between that year that made the huge jump?
Nick Loper: Just really focused on the show… So, May 2014 was when I stopped doing the shoe business to focus on the blog and podcast full time, so you start to see a pretty growth curve around that time, I always tend to see a spike around the new year, so from December to January of 2014 to 2015, it was almost double, so there is a lot of new people coming into the fold around that time, and then hopefully I imagine they found it, thought it was cool, shared it with their friends and they kind of snow balled from there.
Welly Mulia: Okay. Initially when you were just trying to get traction for your podcast, of course you let your audience know, if you have an email list, of course you mail them out, apart from that, did you do any kind of optimization in iTunes, or these types of channels? Did you have any tips to share?
Nick Loper: So, consider iTunes as a search engine and they have kind of cracked down in the past few months of people, like over optimizing their show titles and their author tags, because iTunes rather improved their second grade algorithm, what they have done is just been building shows on their platform, hey, you are spamming your keyword title, you can’t do that. But something to consider, if you are starting a new show, what do you name your show? The Side Hustle Show ranked really well for people searching for side hustle in that search engine, just like there was a presentation form Johnny Dumez and he is like, I am on page 17, if you Google entrepreneurs or something, but if you search iTunes for entrepreneurs, I am like number 2 and of course that’s years ago, and he had to change his name a few times since then. So, consider it as a search engine, the title of your show, the author tag, are the two fields that are crawling, for broad level stuff, not the description, so don’t worry too much about the description, but then the episode titles as well are getting crawled. So, I was on a podcast a couple of years ago, and they did what they supposed to do, hey Nick, thanks so much for joining us, your episode is live today, click here to check it out. And I clicked on the link and what they’ve named this episode is ’36-Nick Loper’ and it is like, this is awful, who cares? Give me some keywords, what am I going to learn if I tune in? What’s this all about? What’s in it for me? And if you can put those keywords, because I occasionally would search for specific people, for specific topics in iTunes or other podcast directories to learn about Instagram marketing, to learn about something else and just download a bunch of episodes under one topic, so if you work that into your episode title, it’s another chance for people to discover you.
Welly Mulia: What do you think is the number one problem people face when they are trying to quit their job and start their own business?
Nick Loper: Just going through the 2019 Side Hustle Nation member survey result, so I would probably have a better answer for you in the next week or two. But the biggest… I can pull up these stats from 2017, so the big 3 that come up over and over again are, the time to get it done, like if I only had 30 hours in a day, then sure, this would be fantastic, you would be finding the right idea, how do I know this is going to work? How do I validate it? How do I know it is going to work for me? Is it worth the time and energy to invest into it? Because who knows where that leads? And then it’s the growth and marketing part of the puzzle, like once I pick something, how do I get it in front of customers? How do I grow it? How do I scale this thing? Those are kind of the big three that come up over and over again.
Welly Mulia: I think that… I ask this question over a lot in these kind of podcast interviews and the usual aspects come up as you said just now, especially with the marketing, not having enough time, as well as is this worth pursuing or not? So, how do you think people can overcome this?
Nick Loper: If the idea is worth pursuing?
Welly Mulia: You mentioned three just now, so I would like to explore one by one, maybe time first, how can people have more time?
Nick Loper: Well, that’s the bad news, you are never going to find more time, you are kind of limited by the 24 hours in a day, laws of physics and all that stuff. But what you can do is, make your… you always have time for your priorities, if you are prioritizing spending time with your kids, going to the gym, sleeping, if you are prioritizing watching TV, Netflix, that’s fine, but be honest with yourself, because I am as guilty as anybody in saying, I don’t have time, and what I have tried to start doing instead, and I am a little bit bad at this is, say I prioritized something else, which sucks to hear as the recipient of that, because my wife is like, how come you didn’t do that? Well, I prioritized something else. How come you didn’t prioritize doing the dishes? But being honest with yourself, where did your time go? Another tool I have found helpful is just doing a legit… like time audit and I am in the midst of doing that again right now, and just start time, stop time, what are you working on, what did you get done during that time? Kind of find… you might be surprised where your time actually goes, and how much time you might find in a day. And I find that I am more productive while I am on the clock, so kind of gamifies it in the moment and that gives me some opportunity to look for things to potentially outsource and delegate and get out of my plate. So, that’s kind of the time thing. On the idea front; the bad news on time is that it’s finite and you are never going to get more hours in a day, the good news on the idea front is that there is no such thing as the perfect idea and so that kind of frees up the realms of possibilities a little bit. And maybe one of the big miss is that you need to come up with these never-before-seen business idea, it’s so innovative that it’s the next Uber or the next Airbnb, or it’s the next billion-dollar unicorn start-up up idea. For side hustlers, that’s fantastic, if that’s what you want to build, but for most people, it’s like look, I want to build a lifestyle business, I want something that supports me, supports my family, gives me the income I need to cover my expenses, to quit my job, to travel, to pay off debts, whatever it is. The good news is, for an idea like that, you are going to look at what else is already out there and say what are they doing? They’ve got customers, they must be doing something right. How would I do it differently? How would I do it better? One of the frameworks that I really love and comes from the tropical NBA podcast, they called it RIP, PIVIT and JAM, which was basically ripping, to have taken someone’s business idea, piving it to a different industry, different protocol, a different spin on it, and then jam is the hustle, doing the work part of it. So, there is that framework for kind of coming up with a business idea. And if you are short on ideas, sidehustlenation.com/ideas is a constantly updated list… there is a more than 100 right now, that can kind of guide you, at least get the creative deuces falling from some things that people are doing and that you may be able to do as well. Do you want me to talk about the growth and the marketing thing?
Welly Mulia: Yeah, sure.
Nick Loper: So, like we talked about on the marketing front is this challenge of getting in front of customers, and we talked about doing that door-to-door, we talked about doing that through other people’s audiences, we talked about doing that through strategic partnerships, so it really depends on what you are marketing and who you are trying to market it to. As far as marketing, for me, iTunes has been really helpful, Amazon has been really helpful, think of these many search engines, I call them these ‘buy buttons’ platforms where you can kind of be discoverable. YouTube has been a huge one lately, and even more so than Google because it apparently indexes immediately rather than, okay, I am going to hit publish and maybe hopefully in a few months it starts to rank in Google and YouTube, if you get it right, the keywords and targeting the content of the video on those first few views and the engagement metrics, it starts to show up on the first page of YouTube for certain searches. Pinterest has been big for me, as a user-to-content platform, a friend of mine calls Pinterest, Google and YouTube, user-to-content platforms where people are searching for specific solutions to their problems, specific answers to their problems, all those types of platforms, versus Facebook or Twitter which is more of a user-to-user platform, I am going to go check out to see what my friends are up to, what the people I am following are up to, and that’s not to say that you can’t get in front of people on those platforms as well, but it can be a little bit more challenging.
Welly Mulia: Did you mention Pinterest as a platform for people who want to search for something?
Nick Loper: Yes.
Welly Mulia: Okay, did you find… So, you got good results for people? Because I have always thought that Pinterest is a very… there are pictures, pin… So, how would it be? When somebody goes there to search for keyword for example that they are looking for, to solve some of their problems, they go there and then type in the keyword, and then an image pops up, that solves their problems or potentially solves their problems, is that how that works?
Nick Loper: Yeah, so image is a front, the image links to an article in most cases, I mean there are some infographics, some pretty pictures and stuff, but in most cases, the image links to an article, so when I was on there, searching the other day for, how to talk to kids, how to make my kid calm down or something like that, and there are a handful of articles that I find on there, clicked them, you can kind of skim through their bullet points and read through these ideas, and then you are on to the next thing. So, in that sense… like in my case, people are searching for ways to make extra money, side hustle ideas, how to start freelancing business, keywords like that, similar to what you type into Google, and it’s another avenue of discovery.
Welly Mulia: Interesting. Would you say that people typing into Google, it doesn’t work as well as typing into, in this case Pinterest?
Nick Loper: I am not a Pinterest power user myself, but here is my hypothesis. The Google user is trying to solve a problem immediately, that’s like pressing, whereas the Pinterest user is like creating a bunch of different ideas and so you often see on other people’s boards, bedroom decoration ideas, so they’ve got a whole bunch of pins on that specific topic, or cool wedding invites, so they’ve got a whole bunch of pins on that certain topic. They are trying to cast a bit of a wide net and get a bunch of different opinions, whereas in Google, it is like, just tell me the answer, and solve my problem right now.
Welly Mulia: Interesting. Earlier you mentioned about partnerships? Can you talk us through how would you approach someone who is cold, like you don’t have a previous relationship with, and trying to partner with them on maybe some ideas or some business? How do you approach people like that? You obviously have their experience, because in your early days I believe you do this kind of partnership people who you haven’t heard of.
Nick Loper: You have to figure out a way to not make it cold, you’ve got to figure out a way to be a warm lead, can you get an introduction from a friend, can you be a value first before making your ask? Those have been the pitches that have come my way, one example was… one of my side hustle was a freelance book editing service, and one of the ways that I got client was by adding myself as a preferred vendor to this company that is publishing, so probably your students are asking, where should I go to for editing services? Can you add my name to that list? And because I had a relationship with the guy teaching the course, he was like, sure, I would be happy to do it, you can kind of get a foot in the door some way, somehow to make that a little bit easier, but it could be a win-win, trying to look at another example from what that might look like… Anything that has been effective for you on the partnership front?
Welly Mulia: Yeah, what you said just now, introduction is perfect, and referring people, getting introduction from someone you already know, that’s perfect, but a lot of times that doesn’t happened because the person or the business that I am trying to approach in that type of context will know them, but giving value first, for me my experience is it’s a great way to, like you said, get a foot in the door first, and then try and step you way into a relationship, so don’t ask of something very easy for them, just drop that value, and after you have a couple of instruction for the person, then you start into more comfortable relationships, then you can ask for more and then take it from there. That was what my experience was…
Okay Nick, I know that there are a lot of things that people need to side hustle their way out of their job, and into their full-time business, but if you can only give one advice to them, what would that be?
Nick Loper: Keep your expenses low, because the number that you are really trying to replace is that income to replace your expenses, a lot of people set out to replace a certain level of income, hopefully you are living below your means, the fastest way to get out of that race is to build another income stream to replace those expenses.
Welly Mulia: Cool. Regarding this one; keeping our expenses low, I see a lot of people, want to be full-time business owners, they focus on the wrong stuff a lot of times. So, for example, they would want to have a really nice website, maybe a fancy logo, or maybe the think they need to have very nice business cards before actually having a solid idea or maybe even building their audience. So, would you say that building the audience is more important than all these fancy stuff, Nick?
Nick Loper: Well, especially starting out, it’s better on the freelance side, you don’t need a website, you don’t need an audience, you just need to find somebody who needs your help and try to make to make a deal with them. I get these massages from people all the time, like I am still working on my logo, waiting on my business card… Like go sell something, you don’t even know if this is going to work yet, it’s frustrating to see. If you must… if that’s going to make the business feel official to you, to feel more legit, then by all means, just do it quick, get it out there and then move on to the next thing, I’ve got business cards in my drawer from businesses from long ago that I never had reasons to pass out business cards, like why did I have them made in the first place? It just didn’t matter.
Welly Mulia: Yeah, cool. So Nick, if people want to… how can they find out more about you and this Side Hustle thing?
Nick Loper: Sure. So, we mentioned sidehustlenation.com/ideas, that’s a fantastic place to start, no opt-in required over there, and of course we look to have you tune into the Side Hustle show with new part-time business ideas every Thursday.
Welly Mulia: Okay, and how can they access the podcast?
Nick Loper: Through iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, whatever your favorite podcast app is, it should be available.
Welly Mulia: Okay. So, just search for Side Hustle Nation?
Nick Loper: Yeah, search Side Hustle Nation, search Side Hustle show, it’s the one with the green cover.
Welly Mulia: Alright. Cool Nick, thank you again for being here today and sharing your experience and skills about Side Hustling…
Nick Loper: Yeah. And thanks for having me.
Welly Mulia: If you are not listening to this on our website, go to academy.birdsend.co/6 to get your show notes. This show is brought to you by BirdSend Email and Marketing Tool; the only email and marketing tool specifically created for online course creators. Get your free forever account at birdsend.co.
Nick Loper On The Fastest Way To Get Side Hustlers Get Off The Ground
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